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Rocks, stupas, straw heaps, and elephants

On my way back from the University of New Mexico, after three weeks of reading Kumārila's upamāna-pariccheda (the "comparison chapter" of the Ślokavārttika) with John Taber, I experienced what Kumārila calls upamānâbhāsa, or "pseudo-comparison" or "merely apparent comparison."
But where a cognition of similarity arises, having imagined it from what is not really similar, the cognition of similarity in such cases is something imagined, having the nature of a mere appearance (40).
And because the [similarity cognition] is subject to a defeater cognition (bādaka), it is considered to be a merely apparent similarity, just as the similarity of a straw heap with an elephant or so on (41).
For someone standing in close proximity discerns that there is no similarity there [in the straw heap]. That [similarity cognition] which is not defeated when there are such things as close proximity, that, in contrast, is genuine similarity (42).yatra tv asadṛśād eva kalpa…

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